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Teen inspired by grandmother’s spirit

Academic excellence and work ethic: Marissa Trott, 17

Seeing the indomitable spirit of her grandmother when faced with breast cancer has served as a valuable source of inspiration for one of CedarBridge Academy’s most exceptional students, Marissa Trott.

A brief glance at Marissa’s resume will reveal she is a dedicated student who is passionate about doing her best in life. It includes an impressive list of certificate honours, top student ratings, academic excellence awards along with awards for sportsmanship, outstanding work ethic courtesy of the school principal, Star Awards for Excellence and community service contributions.

The 17-year-old prefect and president of the National Honours Society has her eyes set on her goal of working in the field of cardiology and at the rate she is going it seems like nothing will stop her.

As well as being instilled with an outstanding work ethic by her parents, she says her grandmother gave her a positive perspective.

“I am inspired by my grandmother, Jacqueline Trott,” she said. “They say that she was the first to hold me when I was born so I have always been around her — we are inseparable.

“She was recently diagnosed with cancer and had a mastectomy and I saw her overcome the challenges she faced while caring for her mother — my grandmother — while still keeping a positive attitude about life. I want to inspire people to be like her and to understand there is no option of giving up. Last year was a hard year for me, I had points when I felt I wanted to give up but I had to keep motivating myself I said if you give up you won’t achieve what you want. Keep going and strive for the best you can be.

“My parents, they have never been the parents to force me to do great in school or to just not care at all. They always told me either you put in the minimum and get the minimum back or you put in the maximum and get the maximum.”

Her interest in cardiology stems partly from her mother who works in the field and partly from having heart problems herself. She has been volunteering with the Cardiac Clinic at the hospital since 2013 and have just been accepted into the University of Mount Allison in New Brunswick where she will study biology.

“After that I plan on going to McGill University in Montreal where I will get a nursing degree and I want to specialise in the cardiology side of that. I assisted during the summer and I sat in on some echo cardiographs. I have a lot of heart problems myself and I want to help people who have the same or similar problems to me. Last year we did the heart as a theme in biology and it just fascinates me. It’s what keeps us going.”

Aside for her passion for physics and biology, Marissa also loves music and art.

“I play the viola and I sing — singing is what helps me to balance myself,” she said. “For me music is something I can use to keep the stress levels down. It clears my mind from all the hard times school may bring — it is a form of stress release and I can do that in my art.”

Gym is also one of her favourite subjects and she hopes to set up a netball club when she starts at university.

Asked what she would say to inspire other students to excel as she does, Marissa said: “Leadership, dedication and passion are important — you have to have the passion in order to want to succeed.

“I always try to look at the brighter side of everything whether I am struggling in a class or not — you can either sit back and mope around about not being able to understand it or you can try to find other ways to understand it.

“I am not the greatest at math so I do whatever I can to go online. Social media can teach you in ways other can’t teach or I go to a study group.

“My friends and I are all quite high achievers and we motivate each other to want success. Surround yourself with good people who want the best for you. I always have a friend with me or a friend to rely on and I am always willing to help others.”